Katie Archibald will seek to learn the lessons from the UCI Cycling World Championships as she looks ahead to the Paris Olympics.
Archibald was not at her blistering best on home boards in Glasgow, but that was understandable after a traumatic period since her partner Rab Wardell died suddenly at home 12 months ago.
The 29-year-old Scot had said she wanted to use these championships to honour Wardell’s memory and she certainly did that as she helped Great Britain to a first women’s team pursuit world title in nine years.
But Archibald was off her best in the omnium as the many emotions of the event had an impact.
“I certainly put a lot on the fact that it was home, and just everything about these worlds and I guess what it had meant for me as a goal for so long,” Archibald told the PA news agency. “The fact that my life has changed quite a bit since I first envisaged that goal, it’s just forced these constant reflections.
“I’ll learn from it, I suppose. It’s not as simple as saying don’t stress as much but learn from it and move forwards.”
Archibald had originally been in line to race the madison as well, but instead sat that out as Elinor Barker and Neah Evans took gold for Great Britain.
Asked if she had been able to get from the championships what she hoped to, Archibald added: “I think if we speak as a we rather than an I, we’ve certainly got what we wanted from it in terms of our big targets in the Olympic events – the team pursuit, the madison, the omnium.
“I suppose you get tested when things go wrong and it was a serious stress test of how me and Cam (Meyer, the women’s endurance coach) get through one of your worst days. It’s a shame to have to do it on the big stage but it’s a big stress test all the same.”
Although this past fortnight did not go entirely as Archibald wanted, she retains big ambitions for Paris, with eyes on the team pursuit, Madison and omnium. No British woman has yet won three titles in a single Olympics.
The women’s team pursuit victory was Britain’s first at a world championships since 2014, when both Archibald and Barker were still making their way as young riders in the squad.
There has since been an Olympic title in Rio and consistent podium placings, but the gold medal – won alongside Barker, Meg Barker, Josie Knight and Anna Morris – at a worlds was a statement a year out from Paris.
“It’s funny, I’ve always seen us as a team that could and we’ve always been there on the podium,” Archibald said. “Apart from 2017 I think any time I’ve lined up with our team at a world championships we’ve ended up on the podium and it’s that elusive top step.
“It’s a little strange that me and El are still kicking around but it’s certainly the new blood that’s brought the success, not just in terms of their strength on the track but changing how you approach it all.”
These championships in Scotland meant so much to Archibald for many reasons, and she is now eager to see the event leave a proper legacy.
After finishing her racing, Archibald spent time at Free Wheel North, a Glasgow-based cycling inclusion charity that focuses on people with MS and autism.
“I’ve had a very cool experience looking at all the adapted bikes and seeing the huge amount of kids they’ve got riding on the circuit,” she said. “It’s not always about competition, sometimes it’s a celebration of fresh air and health.
“I want these championships to leave people inspired and proud of their country for being able to put on such a spectacle.”